Eye Candy as Brain Food

By Daniel de la Calle

Images of blue along each one of these videos and links:
≈≈≈A feel-good story on video: divers off the shore of Socorro Island in Mexico free a majestic whale shark from the thick anchor rope strangling its body.

≈≈≈Chances are you have seen one of Mark Tipple’s iconic photographs of divers and swimmers ducking under white rolling waves along the pages of famous magazines or on the internet.
I took the liberty to make a small screenshot of the new Mare Vida project shots:
Aside from their breathtaking beauty, the images evoke and resonate with the thunderous, relentless power of the oceans, an element both foreign and familiar to us, deserving to be respected, but also ecstatically enjoyed. To the point our breaths allow we can be seals, and play. Here is a Vimeo video of the young artist talking about his better and also his lesser known work.

≈≈≈Read this detailed and technical article from Scientific Reports on “the natural ocean acidification and fertilization event caused by the submarine eruption of El Hierro
“The shallow submarine eruption which took place in October 10th 2011, 1.8 km south of the island of El Hierro (Canary Islands) allowed the study of the abrupt changes in the physical-chemical properties of seawater caused by volcanic discharges. In order to monitor the evolution of these changes, seven oceanographic surveys were carried out over six months (November 2011-April 2012) from the beginning of the eruptive stage to the post-eruptive phase. Here, we present dramatic changes in the water column chemistry including large decreases in pH, striking effects on the carbonate system, decreases in the oxygen concentrations and enrichment of Fe(II) and nutrients. Our findings highlight that the same volcano which was responsible for the creation of a highly corrosive environment, affecting marine biota, has also provided the nutrients required for the rapid recuperation of the marine ecosystem.”

≈≈≈BIOS, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, does some fantastic work.  One of their projects is the Explored Program, “designed to provide teachers and students with hands-on experience in marine science.  Each year a new theme is chosen to highlight a current topic, and field trips, lesson plans and activites are produced.”
BIOS Explorer 2013: Ocean Acidification

≈≈≈NPR audio piece on All Things Considered about plankton and its importance to the health of the planet:


≈≈≈New BBC documentary with the title Oceans: Blue Heart of the Planet. “Almost three quarters of the earth’s surface is covered in water and around 90% of all the living space on Earth is contained in the oceans.
These vast reserves cradled early life and continue to be home to a wealth of extraordinary creatures. At least 230,000 unique species have been documented, although as humans have only explored a small fraction of the depths, there may be as many as two million.
As well as being home to everything from whelks to whale sharks, the oceans offer a range of critical services, including acting as a source of food and regulating the atmosphere.
In particular, the oceans are also vital as sponges for green house gases, taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through two processes – dissolving straight into the water column and also through photosynthesis by phytoplankton.
Today, the oceans soak up around one third of all of human carbon emissions
But this comes at a terrible cost. The composition of the oceans is changing to become more acidic, threatening the tremendous diversity  of creatures that call them home.”
Watch the trailer HERE

≈≈≈EDF, the Environmental Defense Action Fund has launched a campaign to “thank Administrator Lubchenco for being an oceans advocate.”
“During her time as NOAA Administrator, Jane Lubchenco took historic strides towards protecting our fisheries and ensuring ocean sustainability.
As her time at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association draws to a close, we’d like to show her our great appreciation for all she’s done. Will you join us?”

You can do so by signing HERE

≈≈≈Thanks to a $2.7 million grant from the state Alaska will soon have a buoy network capable of feeding real time ocean acidity, temperature, conductivity and dissolved oxygen data into the Alaska Ocean Observing System.
The information will be available to both scientists and the general public.

≈≈≈“If you are interested in the Arctic Ocean and how science and policy work together, then Arctic Ocean Acidification conference organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) is a perfect venue to learn more this. The conference will take place in Bergen, Norway, 6-8 May 2013.”
“The main topics to be covered are:
– results from observational, experimental and modelling studies of past, present and future ocean acidification,
– responses of marine organisms and ecosystem structure, functioning and biodiversity
– perturbations to biogeochemical cycling and feedbacks to the climate system, and
– the economic, social and policy challenges of ocean acidification.”

Detailed information HERE

≈≈≈By clicking on THIS link you can download a complete e-lecture by Richard Feely and Scott Doney titled “Ocean Acidification:The Other CO2 problem”.
“Lecture Summary:
The overall goal of this lecture is to provide an overview of the process and progress of ocean acidification in the global oceans and its impacts on marine organisms over time scales of days to centuries. Examples of acidification impacts on corals, shellfish, and zooplankton are given to show how acidification can affect different kinds of life processes. This lecture describes what we know and what we don’t know about ecosystem responses to acidification and the socio-economic implications for our society. Finally, we discuss the future implications of increased CO2 levels on the health of our ocean ecosystems and related ocean-based economies.”

≈≈≈3 year Postdoctoral position at HKU (University of Hong Kong) to study marine invertebrate response to climate change at proteomics or biomineralization or physiology levels.
More details about this work opportunity HERE

≈≈≈PhD position at the University of Bristol to study “the future of shelf ecosystems”. More information at the University of Bristol website.

More To Explore